The Champions League’s ‘RedZone’ Had Its Crowning Moment

NFL RedZone has revolutionized my football viewing experience. As someone whose interest in the sport has waned over the years due to concerns about player safety and the decline of my favorite team, the Patriots, RedZone provides a convenient way to consume a large amount of football with minimal effort. It’s a brilliant concept that takes advantage of the stop-start nature of the sport, allowing viewers to switch between games without touching a remote.

This idea was quickly imitated, and now soccer has its own version in the form of CBS’s Golazo Show. Just like RedZone, Golazo promises to show every goal scored on a Champions League or Europa League matchday. However, unlike its predecessor, Golazo Show falls short in capturing the essence of the game.

While the format of RedZone seamlessly transitions between American football games, soccer is a fluid sport with constant movement. This makes Golazo Show an inferior way to watch soccer. The show only cuts to games in promising positions, such as a corner kick or a free kick outside the box, but the unpredictable nature of goals and the nuances of the game are lost in these brief clips. You can’t fully experience the midfield battles or understand tactical adjustments without the comprehensive view of a full game.

Personally, I only turn to Golazo Show during the group stages of the Champions League when there isn’t a particular game I’m invested in. If a team like Barcelona or Liverpool is playing, I prefer to watch their match and use Golazo as a secondary screen to keep track of other scores. However, on the final matchday or during winner-take-all matches, I pay closer attention.

But occasionally, the Americanization of soccer through RedZone-like shows can be enjoyable. This was the case during Tuesday’s Champions League slate. Although none of the matches stood out on paper, I decided to watch Golazo Show. The first half of the games didn’t capture my attention, with only two goals scored. This is an inherent flaw of Golazo Show due to soccer’s low-scoring nature.

However, the second halves of these matches were action-packed, with nine goals in a 19-minute stretch. It was a thrilling experience, and Golazo Show finally proved its potential. While the show still has its limitations, such as not being able to keep up with real-time goals, the constant excitement and bouncing between goals made it worthwhile.

Would it have been better to focus on one match and fully enjoy it? Perhaps. In retrospect, I wish I had watched the Lens-PSV match or followed my instincts and watched Arsenal defeat Sevilla. Despite the barrage of goals, I still lacked a complete understanding of the matches outside of those moments. However, I don’t regret giving Golazo Show a chance on this occasion. When everything aligns and the action unfolds rapidly, the show becomes a psychedelic experience, bringing soccer highlights to life. It’s bold and sometimes overwhelming, but there’s a strange pleasure in letting the excitement wash over you.


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